I'm sitting here, Sunday night, and watching the old Steven Spielberg film, Always. It's one of those films we widowed people try to avoid, especially in the first year. I'm not in my first year, more like at 22 months, but who's counting.
This is one of those films that I remember enjoying, but never really thought to watch again. So, the details of the film escaped me when I tuned in tonight. A pilot dies, leaving his girlfriend widowed, and is sent back to help guide another, younger, pilot. What the pilot doesn't realize is that he is not necessarily sent back to help the young man become a better pilot, he is sent back to help the young man heal the heart of his widowed girlfriend, through new love.
Interesting timing. As many of you know I have just started dating again. For some it may seem soon, but at 22 months, I find that I need something new in my life. Not surprising really, as most of my widowed journey has been about seeking that which is new. It's not the recommended route, nor is it the easiest route. I'm well aware that my grief remains, and that there is still much for me to work through. But, what I also know well, is me. I know what works for me. At seven months into my grief I was feeling like ending it all. Not the safest best place to have been, and not something I share with everyone, yet something I do share with my widowed companions.
I remember that time as the darkest, and most painful, time of my life. I was grieving not just the loss of my husband, but the complete loss of hope. I had gone through so much in my adult life, especially with all the unexpected challenges of raising my three adoptive children. I realized that through some of my choices, and perhaps through some bad timing, I had remained single throughout most of my adult life. I often laid up alone at night, and wondered what it was like for married people. I wondered what it was like to sleep next to the person I loved every night. I wondered what it would be like to make love to the same person, night after night, week after week, and year after year. At some point in my life, I had actually given up hope that I would indeed meet that person.
Then one April evening, without any real expectation, I met Michael. It didn't take much time to know he was the one. And, it didn't take much time to know what I had been missing all of my adult life. You see, it was almost four years later, to the day, that I sat on the floor of my bedroom, with a choice to make. Succumb to the pain, or wake up the next morning with a new plan. That is when I made a plan to pack up my kids, leave my job, sell my home, and move on. It is what I needed. I knew that ultimately it would be the only way for me to survive. I made a choice that next morning to trust that I wasn't making this decision alone, and that I wouldn't be taking those steps alone as well.
Now I find myself out here, 22 months into this journey, knowing that it is time for me to take another step. I know that I need new love in my life, and that I have to go out and seek it. It is what he wanted for me, and I feel like he is once again here guiding me. Funny, there is no guilt. There is only a smile on my face, thinking about the way Michael's whole face would light up when he was filled with joy, or when he looked at me. I don't see him, yet I feel his smile. I feel the warmth of his gaze. It lights up my life.
This week I will be going on a second date. I'm excited, and I am nervous. I know what I had, and I know what I would like to have once again. I hope to maintain my optimism as I begin this phase of my life. I hope to find enjoyment in the process of meeting new guys, and I hope to remain open to the prospect of new love and romance.
For so long I thought I would never have true love.
For a short time I thought I would always have it.
For a time I thought I would never escape the pain of losing him.
For now, I realize that I will always have him, and his love.
I trust that he knew what was best for me, and that he wants me to choose love.